LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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BBDO's new-media work

In Advertising Age's May 5 Interactive section, the article on Visa's Web program, "Cities to dine for" ("Visa builds Web presence with Epicurious tie-in"), credits BBDO for its guidance but also takes a gratuitous shot at us by describing the agency as having "historically lagged behind in the area of new media."

I admit we do indeed lag in the categories of (1) agency new media units announced and dissolved, (2) number of agency people devoted to new media with little or no revenue to support them, (3) number of agency people supposedly dedicated exclusively to new media who actually haven't given up their day jobs, and (4) agency hype in all those trade press pages on interactive that very few clients read.

We laggards will just stick to real people doing real work for real clients on interactive projects that have real budgets with real potential.

Allen Rosenshine

Chairman-CEO, BBDO Worldwide

New York

`Agency of year' cites clients, staff

From the "fertile environment" of Foote, Cone & Belding/San Francisco, I wanted to express our pride and our sincere gratitude for being honored by Advertising Age as Agency of the Year.

We've been extraordinarily fortunate-blessed, really-to have had the mix of clients, brands and talented people that enabled us to create the work Ad Age praised so generously.

I've been reminding myself, and our staff, that most people in our industry never get to experience this kind of recognition. It is something that, coming from a respected source like Ad Age, carries major significance for the office and for our clients.

In particular, I'm grateful that the article reflected the breadth of our work; not only because we're proud of that scope but because it's a reminder that creativity isn't limited to one category or one client or one medium.

Jack Borland

President, Foote, Cone & Belding/San Francisco

Article missed Carbona

Your article about the Clorox Co. entry into the carpet cleaning category ("Clorox tries Formula 409 for carpets," AA, March 10) caught my eye, probably because I am VP-management supervisor on the Delta Carbona account, and they manufacture and market Carbona Carpet Wizard. Needless to say, their product was conspicuous by its absence from the article-especially because dollar sales were up 4.9% in a category that (as you stated) was down 6%.

I can see where you might not recognize Carbona Carpet Wizard; it is new to the Midwest, but it has a long and very strong history on the East Coast. In fact, in Florida alone last year, with an ACV [all-commodity volume] of 80%, Carpet Wizard was up 41% while Resolve (Reckitt & Colman) was down 5%, Shout (S.C. Johnson & Son) was down 14% and Woolite (Playtex) was down 86%.

Information Resources Inc. lumps all the carpet deodorizers with the rug and upholstery cleaners, so your -7% for Shout and Glade includes the Glade rug deodorizer. The Shout carpet cleaner was down 38.2%-the difference from the number you quoted and the Shout sales was the Glade deodorizer sales, which were fairly steady by comparison.

You may want to watch the Carbona product lines. I think you will find them knocking the socks off the big guys before long.

Kristine Edmunds

VP-management supervisor

Columbian Advertising

Chicago

Wildmon is `boring'

Was it really necessary for Advertising Age to give print space to Donald Wildmon's rabid anti-gay agenda (" `Ellen' buy puts VW on the hot seat," AA, April 28)? . . . Mr. Wildmon's name calling and extremist hysteria add nothing to the discussion. And it's boring to boot.

David F. Uible

Pasadena, Calif.

Corrections

In "Lay's chips land at DDB Needham" (May 12, P. 1), DDB Needham Worldwide's New York office will handle Frito-Lay's Lay's chips.

In "Combined Fort James to boost brand ads" (May 12, P. 6), DDB Needham Worldwide, New York, is James River Corp.'s ad agency.

In "CMP ponders initial stock offering" (May 5, P. 3), it was incorrectly stated that HomePC missed its rate base for the second half of 1996. HomePC had a rate base of 425,000 for the period of July, August and September, and raised its rate base to 500,000 for October, November and December, giving it an average rate base for the period of 462,500. HomePC delivered an average circulation of 462,570.

In the chart titled "Megabrands ranked by 1996 measured media spending" (May 5, P. 44), the parent of 173-ranked Publishers Choice should have been National Syndications and its main business identified as books and videos.

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